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Qantas, Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand shares ease

Shares in Qantas, Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand fell back yesterday, in line with softer equity markets around the region.

Virgin Blue eased 1.6% yesterday, despite unveiling a better-than-expected result in the six months to Dec-2009 (1HFY2010), returning to profitability in a challenging operating environment. The carrier reported a net profit after tax of AUD62.5 million (USD55.8 million) in the six months ended Dec-2009 (1HFY2010), for a net margin of 4.1% (compared to a net margin of -7.5% in the previous corresponding period), aided by strict cost control efforts and improved domestic yields.

See related report: Virgin Blue's better-than-expected profitability in 1HFY2010; Expects tougher second half

Air New Zealand slipped 1.5% as it unveiled weaker yields in Jan-2010, despite strong capacity cutbacks. See related report: Air New Zealand’s yields remain depressed in Jan-2010

Qantas shares eased 0.4% yesterday, after last week’s big falls following market disappointment over its full-year earnings outlook.

Kingfisher gains on oneworld

Elsewhere, Kingfisher gained 2.2% the day after its oneworld alliance announcement, while Jet Airways fell again, by 2%. See related report: Kingfisher Airlines’ big win; shifts alliances landscape in Asia with oneworld move. BA to invest?

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 24-Feb-2010